Sewing Table #2: My First Fine Furnature!!! Getting Started... Milling the Lumber

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Blog entry by Blake posted 06-10-2008 09:16 PM 4454 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Sketchup Model Part 2 of Sewing Table series Part 3: Using the Mortising Machine (for the first time) »

Well, I am finally graduating to furniture. I intend to blog the journey in this series to share what I learn in the transition from small boxes to full size furniture. I’ve done large projects before but furniture is sort of the ‘holy grail’ of woodworking, in my mind. It is what I would really like to do (if I could afford the lumber). By the way, my mom’s birthday is June 21st (we will see how close I get to the the deadline.)

The Design:

Here is the original Sketchup model from the first blog in this series:

The Lumber:

Here is the wood my dad and I settled on at the lumber store. It is birch, which was affordable hardwood for us, but the most beautiful birch I’ve ever seen. It has a curly figure to it.

(Yes, that is my delta contractor’s saw looking dwarfed under that board.)

As you can see, I am pushing my jewelry box making tools to their limits:

Getting Started:

To cut that massive slab into the 4 legs I decided to cut it half way through on the table saw and then finish it off on the bandsaw. For this job, I decided it was time for a new blade.

Definitely need outfeed support here:

Cut, flip, cut, flip, cut, flip, cut, etc… very accurate because I only moved the fence once:

It cuts very fast on the bandsaw:

And the remaining “ridge” is cleaned up with a block plane.

I run them through the planer until they were all perfectly 2×2. Tapers will be cut later.

Taking Shape:

I also cut my apron pieces to length (adding inches for the mortise and tenon joinery) and at the end of the evening I clamped my pieces together and I saw my table come to life:


-- Happy woodworking!

24 comments so far

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 4933 days

#1 posted 06-10-2008 09:31 PM


Pretty cool!

One question: How will you be making the arches, as you show on the SketchUp rendition? Will you be using a template and a router? Just curious…

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

View Tony's profile


995 posts in 5088 days

#2 posted 06-10-2008 09:32 PM

That is really nice looking Birch – it looks nothing like the Birch we get here in Finland – Ours is much more whiter, almost the colour of Holly. Fantastic figuring on those rails, you got a really good find.

I look forward to the rest of the series

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4826 days

#3 posted 06-10-2008 09:34 PM

looking good, thats some wonderful figure in that Flame Birch there. what are you planning on for the finish.

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 4788 days

#4 posted 06-10-2008 09:48 PM

Good project Blake, ;looks good! Dave

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View PaBull's profile


969 posts in 4723 days

#5 posted 06-10-2008 10:06 PM

that is one stout table. now do i see this right, did you just clamp it up for the last picture, or did you actually glu it?

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4857 days

#6 posted 06-10-2008 10:08 PM

So, how long have you been sewing, hmmmm? HA! Great project, Blake.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View blackcherry's profile


3345 posts in 4881 days

#7 posted 06-11-2008 12:36 AM

Dude dose Mom plan on making saddles LOL. That quit a slab of flaming birch…you’re off to a great start good luck on completion …Blkcherry

View Karson's profile


35271 posts in 5458 days

#8 posted 06-11-2008 12:39 AM

Nice design Blake. Great looking wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4880 days

#9 posted 06-11-2008 01:17 AM


You are off to a good start here. Your design is interesting and you selected some nice wood. Getting it completed by her birthday is doable but it doesn’t leave a lot of tv time. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4954 days

#10 posted 06-11-2008 02:19 AM

Got a great start. Will be fun to watch this project come to life. June 21 is not far away——- try not to hurry to much!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5157 days

#11 posted 06-11-2008 02:29 AM

The figure in that wood is rich! The design looks great.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View deeker's profile


43 posts in 4843 days

#12 posted 06-11-2008 02:35 AM

That looks great!!!! Nice pics and story. More pics!!! More pics!!!

-- To those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected never know. Unknown, on an empty C-ration box. Khe Sahn 1968

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5094 days

#13 posted 06-11-2008 03:22 AM

Looks good, Blake!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Greg Wurst's profile

Greg Wurst

798 posts in 4890 days

#14 posted 06-11-2008 04:34 AM

Where are you getting that wood? I want some!

The table looks great so far!

-- You're a unique and special person, just like everyone else.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5124 days

#15 posted 06-11-2008 07:47 AM

Blake looks like you are off to a great start – nice design and the wood is really top notch. Good luck on making the deadline.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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